Major Gifts Officer

February 2024 | New Jersey, USA
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The Salvation Army NJ Division seeks a dedicated Major Gift Officer to work with a portfolio of major donors to increase philanthropic support and provide outstanding stewardship.

About The Salvation Army NJ

children posing at the Morristown PreschoolThe Salvation Army has been around since 1865, originally called the East London Christian Mission. An itinerate pastor named William Booth started the organization as a grassroots effort with boots on the ground in London. He did not have buildings, but he did have a dedicated following who saw desperate need among the poorest of people and took to the streets to offer help. Booth referred to the organization as a volunteer army, because of the way they operated and served.

The Salvation Army annually helps more than 30 million people overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at over 7,000 centers of operation around the country. In 2021, The Salvation Army was ranked No. 2 on the list of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

The Salvation Army New Jersey Division (TSA) has been pursuing The Salvation Army’s mission in New Jersey since 1880. The Division is comprised of 29 Corps Worship and Community Centers, which provide religious and social services adapted to the needs of their communities. When they do, love and encouragement are extended as critical social services are provided. The programs and services offered provide hope to those in despair and transform lives.

TSA New Jersey has a leading philanthropy program in the Eastern Territory and raises $2.5M in major gifts total annually. The goal for this role’s portfolio is $525,000 in Fiscal year 2024, with the intention to increase the total portfolio to $1M and more.

For more information on The Salvation Army New Jersey Division, please visit

About the Position

The Major Gifts Officer (MGO) will report to the Senior Director Resource Development. The MGO is responsible for building a portfolio of major gift donors and providing ongoing support, including proactive relationship management; strategic communications plans; gifts cultivation; and solicitation activity. The MGO will identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit, and steward major gift prospects, acting as the primary contact between The Salvation Army and the assigned portfolio. The emphasis is on increasing philanthropic capacity by securing gifts of $10,000 and higher – building toward a portfolio of $1M+ – while retaining and strengthening existing giving.

Key Responsibilities

Leadership and Fundraising Managementa group of Salvation Army NJ staff

  • Leads in one-to-one solicitation for their qualified portfolio, including gift acknowledgement and stewardship communication; provide written proposals to prospects as needed; and including TSA and/or volunteer leadership as appropriate.
  • Travel 50% of the time to meet, cultivate, and solicit donors.
  • Works in collaboration with program, finance, development, graphic design/communications, and administrative support staff to develop a portfolio of giving opportunities that documents funding needs in terms of real costs, impact, outcomes, shortfalls, and other opportunities.
  • Presents funding opportunities to donors to effectively match donor interests with TSA service delivery advancement needs.
  • Keeps management apprised of all significant interactions, including:
    • Inputting contact reports to the data system/donor database system
    • Sharing a continually updated itinerary
    • Fulfilling all monthly and other reporting requirements
    • Consulting with leadership to understand organizational priorities, develop strategies that benefit both the donor and TSA, and troubleshoot challenging situations.
  • Makes effective use of volunteer opportunities, events, and other initiatives to engage with assigned donors and prospects to bring them closer to TSA and deepen their awareness of the organization’s impact, especially in areas of interest to them.
  • Works with other staff and leadership (including leadership volunteers) to develop new major donor / prospect cultivation events, such as private receptions and dinners in homes, targeted toward those with high philanthropic capacity.
  • Plays a key role in working with select local Advisory Boards.


  • Establishes, manages, and fulfills a portfolio communications plan, including individual fundraising goals and personalized strategies, to effectively steward, educate, cultivate, and solicit gifts from major donors each fiscal year, with an emphasis on gifts of $10,000 and higher.
  • Develops research and briefing memos in preparation for team discussions. Works with prospect research manager and staff at Territorial Headquarters (THQ) to develop donor profiles to inform “moves management” strategies and planning conversations.
  • Meets regularly with supervisor and territorial major gifts management to discuss and refine portfolio plans and donor strategies; to track progress; to receive coaching; and to keep open lines of communication.
  • Works in close conjunction with other fund development officers, pursuing and contributing to harmonious collaboration between other major gift staff, marketing, social media, foundation, corporation, and planned giving staff for optimal integrated strategies regarding major donor communications as well as overall department initiatives.
  • Supports and contributes to overall policies and strategies to continually increase major gifts revenue and program growth.

Donor Relations

  • Builds and manages a portfolio of 125-150 assigned and qualified major donors.
  • Works in close collaboration with TSA staff to present local resource development needs that correspond to where donors and prospects reside, while always being responsive to each donor’s interests (even if elsewhere) and attentive to fiduciary responsibilities (donor intent with gifts).
  • Prioritizes taking donors on site visits to tour TSA programs and to facilitate face-to-face briefings of donors by TSA leaders.
  • Manages all office systems related to MGO duties, including maintaining updated Insight (Salesforce database) donor files, tracking spreadsheets, correspondence, and gift acknowledgments, in keeping with department policies and procedures.
  • Ensures excellent customer service is provided to donors, including accessible staff and leadership, timely responsiveness, and high-quality, personalized interactions.
  • Works diligently to meet monthly and annual activity and income production goals and is purposeful about every visit and communication and the desired outcome for each “touch.”
  • Participates in required organizational professional development trainings.

Key Qualifications

  • Passion for The Salvation Army’s mission coupled with a strong commitment to know and understand TSA’s history, mission, and structure, as well as its services, policies, and procedures.
  • Minimum of five years’ experience in a nonprofit fundraising role with a proven track record of major gifts success and a strong working knowledge of strategy development and moves management systems in the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship processes.
  • Highly effective interpersonal, conversational, and presentational skills, demonstrating an emotional intelligence and situational awareness, as well as excellent writing abilities.
  • Demonstrated expertise in developing and maintaining positive relationships with diverse individuals, including executives, high-level volunteers, and wealthy donors, as well as internal stakeholders and leadership.
  • Prowess in problem-solving, strategic and creative thinking, and taking initiative with consistent and good follow-through.
  • Outstanding comfort level with direct donor interaction is a must, including discussions of personal and  family finances and asking for major financial commitments.
  • A reliable motor vehicle is required for this position.

The Salvation Army does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.

Compensation: The salary range for this position is $80,000 – $85,000 annually, commensurate with experience.

If you are interested in being considered for this search, please use the form below to submit your cover letter and resume in confidence.

Melanie O’Keefe

Senior Consultant

Development Guild DDI

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